Precipitation: what is it good for? Precipitation in the form of rain, snow, sleet is an important part of nature’s water cycle. The water grows plants, recharges our ground water tables for wells providing us with drinking water and sustains our streams and natural places. Precipitation: what is it bad for? As our community becomes more urbanized, the adverse impacts of development on the natural water cycle become sever. When there is excessive water from storms, the water flows over roads and parking lots instead of soaking into the ground. The Federal Government, in passing the clean streams law, has required that local communities address these adverse impacts. A Simplified example of the impacts can be described as follows: water flows over the land throughout our community, it picks up debris and pollutants as it makes its' way to the stream. The debris can cause many maintenance problems including clogged storm and sewer drains. The pollutants degrade the quality of our stream killing off plant, fish, and other important aquatic life. The surge of flow during a storm causes erosion of stream banks and the deposit of more silt and sands which can also choke out aquatic. Why do we need to control Storm Water? Storm water becomes a problem when it picks up debris, chemicals, dirt and other pollutants as it flows. It travels through a system of pipes and eventually flows directly to lake, river, stream, wetland or ocean. All of the pollutants storm water carries along the way empty into our waters. By allowing natural means to filter the runoff, we can protect our important resources. What everyone can do to help • Properly dispose of hazardous substances such as used oil, cleaning supplies and paint - never pour them down any part of the storm water system. • Use pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides properly and efficiently to prevent excess runoff. • Report signs of soils and other pollutants, such as debris and chemicals that you see in storm water runoff or tracked into the roads. • Install innovative storm water practices on your property, such as rain barrels or rain gardens. • Report any discharges from storm water outfalls during dry weather – a sign that there could be a problem with the storm water system. • Pick up after pets and dispose of their waste properly, even on your own property. • Store materials that could pollute storm waters indoors and use containers for outdoor storage that do not rust or leak. Skippack Township has begun implementing a new federally mandated program designed to reduce storm water pollution. The program called NPDES (National Pollution Discharge Elimination System), MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Water Systems), applies to all municipalities in designated urban areas. It is important that we all work together to make sure that the only thing that storm water contributes to our water is…water. For more information, contact the Township or go the DEP web page for Stormwater. STORMWATER DEP Southeast Regional Office website: http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/southeastro/site/default.asp Other Stormwater Links http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwatermonth.cfm http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/menuofbmps/index.cfm Please bring any of these materials to the Montgomery County Hazardous Waste Recycling Program. For collection dates and locations, call 610-278-3618.
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